EXETER, R.I. (WPRI) — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating exactly what led to an emergency landing on I-95 North in Exeter Saturday night.
Rhode Island State Police said the pilot and his sister are both from New York. The couple was headed back there from T.F. Green Airport when they experienced a mechanical problem in the air.
Amazingly, the pilot was able to safely land the plane in the breakdown lane of the highway, avoiding any vehicle traffic on the ground.
And while it proved to be quite the sight this weekend for those who drove past the spectacle, it’s one of several recent incidents involving small planes in the area.
Eyewitness News has reported on at least four small plane emergency landings and crashes in the past six months.
Last week, a pilot was killed after crashing in a New Bedford cemetery. The NTSB is still investigating that crash.
Saturday, State Police said the plane experienced power failure, and luckily no one was injured.
“There could have easily been a loss of life. An aircraft landing on 95 at any time is a danger to the public, so it was quick thinking on the pilot’s part,” Rhode Island State Police Lt. Kenneth Jones said.
State police said the pilot has been flying for eight years.
“The pilot’s experience, he was able to determine the traffic was lighter going northbound so in this time he maneuvered the aircraft to a northern position and made the emergency landing,” Jones said.
State Police said the NTSB has taken over the investigation.
On Sunday morning, the plane was still at a rest stop off the highway awaiting removal.